Three months after finishing 10th in the College National Finals Rodeo team standings, the Casper College men’s team is ready to start the 2019-20 season.
The Thunderbirds, along with the rest of the teams in the Central Rocky Mountain Region, return to the rodeo arena this weekend at the Chadron (Neb.) State College Rodeo.
“I think we’re ready,” Casper College head coach Jhett Johnson said. “We’re got a men’s team that is loaded with team ropers and we’ve got a bunch of (roughstock riders) that are young and green, but they really ride good.”
Johnson’s sons, Carson and Kellan, will rope together while Jerren Johnson, Jhett’s nephew, will rope with Cooper White. Freshman Bryan Lemmon (Torrington) is also in the team roping mix.
At the 2018 CNFR, while roping for Gillette College, Kellan Johnson teamed with former T-Bird Trey Yates to win the average title. This year he’ll rope with Carson, a freshman. Jerren Johnson and White both have CNFR experience.
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While the roughstock riders might be young, they do have an experienced hand to look up to in K’s Thomson, another CNFR veteran.
Jhett Johnson also has high expectations for the T-Birds’ women’s team.
“Everybody is back from last year,” he said. “The girls all look relaxed and ready to compete.”
Barrel racer Makayla Seeley, who won the first round of the CNFR and finished eighth in the average, is back for her sophomore season.